IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Reserve price effects in auctions: estimates from multiple RD designs

  • Syngjoo Choi

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Lars Nesheim

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and UCL)

  • Imran Rasul

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London and IFS)

We present evidence from 260,000 online auctions of second-hand cars to identify the impact of public reserve prices on auction outcomes. To establish causality, we exploit multiple discontinuities in the relationship between reserve prices and vehicle characteristics to present RD estimates of reserve price effects on auction outcomes. Our first set of results show that, in line with the robust predictions of auction theory, an increase in reserve price decreases the number of bidders, increases the likelihood the object remains unsold, and increases expected revenue conditional on sale. Reserve price effects are found to be larger when there are more entrants, and when the reserve price is lower to begin with. Our second set of results then combine these estimates to calibrate the reserve price effect on the auctioneer's expected revenue. This reveals the auctioneer's reserve price policy to be locally optimal. Our final set of results provide novel evidence on reserve price effects on the composition of bidders. We find that an increase in reserve price: (i) decreases the number of potential bidders as identified through individual web browsing histories; (ii) leads to only more experienced and historically successful bidders still entering the auction; (iii) the characteristics of actual winners are less sensitive to the reserve price than those of the average bidder, suggesting auction winners are not the marginal entrant.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp3010.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP30/10.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 15 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:30/10
Contact details of provider: Postal:
The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE

Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE
Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ostrovsky, Michael & Schwarz, Michael, 2009. "Reserve Prices in Internet Advertising Auctions: A Field Experiment," Research Papers 2054, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Thomas Lemieux & Kevin Milligan, 2004. "Incentive Effects of Social Assistance: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," NBER Working Papers 10541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephanie Rosenkranz & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2007. "Reserve Prices in Auctions as Reference Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 637-653, 04.
  4. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  5. James W. Roberts, 2013. "Unobserved heterogeneity and reserve prices in auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 712-732, December.
  6. Tan, Guofu & Yilankaya, Okan, 2004. "Equilibria in Second Price Auctions with Participation Costs," Microeconomics.ca working papers tan-04-01-24-10-08-06, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jun 2006.
  7. Harrison, Glenn W, 1989. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 749-62, September.
  8. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1996. "Optimal Reservation Prices in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1271-83, September.
  10. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-99, June.
  11. Babur De los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2009. "Testing Models of Consumer Search using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," Working Papers 2009-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  12. Paarsch, Harry J., 1997. "Deriving an estimate of the optimal reserve price: An application to British Columbian timber sales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 333-357, June.
  13. Horstmann, I.J. & LaCasse, C., 1995. "Secret Reserve Prices in a Bidding Model with a Re-Sale Option," Working Papers 9507e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:30/10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Hyman)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.